Category Archives: Tutorials

Hand Ranks for Pokers & Hold’em

We often see a lot of Pokers or Hold’em games through casino (whether it’s landed or online), games, movies or even at your friend’s house. It is one of the most popular card games in the world. The rules are simple, get the best rank or combination of 5 cards. But not everyone knows how many ranks there are and which is higher. Now let’s have a look on the combination of cards below from the highest to lowers ranks order.

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Slots Myths and Facts

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Most of the things that gamblers believe about slots are untrue. Below is a list of slots myths and facts that you might be familiar with:

Myth: Slot machines are programmed to go through the same cycle again after payoff. Each cycle may consist of thousands of spins, but once it has come to end, the cycle repeats itself all over again in the same pattern.

Fact: Each spin is random and are independent of the last spins.

 

Myth: Machines pay off once a particular percentage of all bets are reached. A jackpot which has not been hit for a longer time is due and is more likely to hit.

Fact: in every machine game, the odds are constant. When the jackpot was last hit and how much was being paid out the previous time does not affect the next hit in any way.

 

Myth: Machine pays more without the use of a player card.

Fact: The odds are constant in every machine, hence the presence of a player card do not affect the mechanism of the machines.

 

Myth: A button can be remotely pressed to change the machine mechanism. Players so tip staffs well and be courteous or they will be on a losing streak with this machine.

Fact: Do not be stressed, but there are some truth in this myth. It is said that the odds of the machines are capable of being changed remotely, although such “server-based” slots are still in their experimental stages and are in the minority. However, keep in mind that there are regulations which provide protection for players against such abuses.

 

Myth: Slots are looser during slow hours and tighter during peak hours when the casinos are crowded.

Fact: Casinos will always find a good balance between their slot machines being too tight or too loose. They will strive to provide players with machines that are loose enough so players can yield a reasonable winning so that they will return again some other time. If the machines are too tight, players are able to sense it and are more unlikely to return.

Top 10 Worst Starting Hands in Texas Hold’em

Sure, you know that a pair of aces are the best hand in Texas Hold’em, but do you know the worst starting hands? Knowing that these hands are almost-always-fold’em hands in hold’em is just as important to improving your poker game and not playing like a donkey.

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Some of these “worst hands” are bad in the same way and will lose at about the same rate, so I’ve called them ties, even when one is a slightly better hand.

1. 2-7

7-2 off suit is considered the worst hand in Texas Hold’em. They are the lowest two cards you can have that cannot make a straight (there’s 4 cards between 2 and 7). Even if they are suited, they will make you a very low flush, and if either pairs, it’s an awfully low hand.

Because it is the worst, some players will play it for fun and in online games, it is known as “the hammer.”

2. 2-8

This is the same basic problem as above, only you’ve got an 8 instead of a 7. Still pretty bad for a high card. Suited or not, this is a fold’em hold’em hand.

3. Tie: 3-8 & 3-7

The 3 makes this hand able to beat the two above it, but with the 3-8 you still can’t make a straight and the 3-7 still, well, just sucks.

4. 2-6

While if the board gives you a miracle flop of 3-4-5, you will have a straight, someone with a 6-7 will have a higher straight. If you get a flush, someone will probably have a higher flush. Against even 4 players, this hand will lose about 90% of the time. Not good odds.

5. Tie: 2-9, 3-9, & 4-9

The only thing these three hands have going for them over the hands above is the 9. If the 9 pairs, you’ll have a middle pair that could still be beat by anyone holding pocket 10s, jacks, queens, kings, or aces, yet you might be fooled by a board filled with low cards into thinking you have the best hand and losing a lot of money. No straights can fill the gap between these cards, either. Beware.

6. 2-10

This hand has a legendary quality because Doyle Brunson captured two World Series of Poker Bracelets with it. But it’s not a good hand — Doyle Brunson is one of the all-time best in the game and unless you’re a Texas road gambler who’s logged thousands of hours at the table, you shouldn’t try and win with the Doyle Brunson.

7. 5-9

Another hand people play because it’s fun is the old 9 to 5, the “Dolly Parton.” If you’re playing to win, it’s not a good idea to play hands because they have a funny name. That may be how you pick the winning horse in a race, but poker’s a marathon, not a sprint, and over the long term there’s no doubt this hand is a statistical loser.

8. Tie: 4-7, 4-8, 5-8, 3-6…

All these hands will rarely win, especially unsuited. Toss ’em. Just toss’em. Yes, even in the little blind. If you see two low cards in the hole, unless you’re in the big blind and you can see the flop for free, fold.

9. Face card + low card, unsuited

One of the most common mistakes I see beginners make is that when they see any paintin their hand, they play it. J-2, Q-3, K-4 whatever — and most of these hands are losers. They’re junk that may win a few pots, but more often will lose you huge cash when you find the other player has a higher kicker and the winning hand.

10. Ace + low card, unsuited

This is another common beginner mistake, playing any ace. Again, it may win occasionally, and heads-up it’s a fine hand, but at a table of 4 or more, this hand shouldn’t be played if there’s a raise in front of you. You’re going to be outkicked a lot with Ace-little, and it’s going to feel like a kick in the junk when the other player shows their higher ace.

10 Crimes of Blackjack

By Henry Tamburin

Many players make horrible mistakes when they play blackjack. Here’s a list of the 10 worst crimes a player can make.

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The crime: Believing blackjack is all luck.

If you think that all you need is a little bit of “luck” to win at blackjack, I strongly suggest that you stop playing the game. Blackjack is not all luck. The reason? The odds of winning are not the same from one hand to the next because the removal of a card from a deck of cards will affect the odds (sometimes in your favor, other times in the dealer’s favor). It’s true that on individual hands, or even a single playing session, luck can influence the outcome, but in the long term, the player’s skill will overtake luck and a player can win more than he loses, or at the minimum, play almost even with the house.

 

The crime: Not using basic strategy.

In was back in 1956 when a group of scientists changed the game of blackjack forever when they statistically determined the absolute correct way to play every hand. This strategy became known as the basic playing strategy and by using this strategy to play every hand, the house edge can be reduced to a minuscule 0.2 to 0.5% (depends on the rules and number of decks). The bottom line is this: blackjack is not a guessing game. If you hold a 10-5 and the dealer shows an 8 upcard, there is one and only one correct play. It doesn’t matter whether you are playing in a Midwest casino, in Las Vegas, or Atlantic City, or whether you just lost five hands in a row, or just won five hands in a row, or whether you are winning a lot or losing or lot, the correct play for this hand is to hit. To be skillful at blackjack means you almost have to be robotic and make the same correct plays according to the basic playing strategy hand after hand after hand. You don’t hit 10-5 against a dealer 8 sometimes and stand othertimes. You always hit. If you can’t or won’t accept this, then you should hang up your playing cards and play a different game because you will never make it at blackjack.

 

The crime: Betting on side bets.

Nowadays, casinos have implemented side bets on blackjack tables as a way to increase their revenue because their edge on the game itself is razor thin. These side bets are cheap; usually, it only costs a buck to make them and they come in all different flavors: Pair Square (bet that you will be dealt a pair); Lucky Ladies (bet that you’re initial hand totals 20); Bonus Blackjack (bet that the dealer or player gets a blackjack), and so on. The problem with these side bets is that the house edge is high and although you might get lucky and win a few side bets, in the long run you’ll be donating a lot of money to the casino coffers by making these bets.

 

The crime: Using a Progressive Betting System.

The majority of blackjack players use some form of progressive betting which means the player sizes his bet based on whether he won or lost the previous hand. The problem with progressive betting systems is that they don’t change the casino’s edge one iota. The odd of winning the next hand in blackjack isn’t dependent on what happened in previous hands (it is influenced by which cards were removed from the deck). So a player who uses a progressive betting system is deluding himself into thinking he has found the way to beat the house.

 

The crime: Playing with a Continuous Shuffling Machine.

A continuous shuffling machine (CSM) is an automatic shuffler that randomly shuffles the cards after each round. Many casinos are replacing the traditional automatic shuffler with CSMs. The reason is because when a CSM is used, the house edge remains virtually the same from one round to the next. When a casino uses a CSM, they can also get roughly 20% more hands dealt per hour vs. a traditional automatic shuffler. The more hands that a recreational player faces per hour, the greater will be the player’s theoretical loss. So playing on a table that uses a CSM is a no-no. You should always play where the dealer is using either a traditional shuffler (where about 70% of the cards are dealt from the shuffler before all the cards are shuffled), or in a single- and two-deck game where the dealer manually shuffles the cards.

 

The crime: Playing a single-deck game that pays 6-5 for blackjack

Many casinos have implemented single-deck blackjack games where a player receives only a 6-5 payoff for a blackjack instead of the traditional 3-2 payoff (a 6-5 payoff means on a $10 bet you would get paid $12 for a blackjack instead of $15).These games are really bad news because the 6-5 payoff increases the house edge to roughly 1.4%. It’s a real crime to play any game where the casino pays only 6-5 on blackjacks.

 

The crime: Not scouting the tables

The playing rules are not necessarily the same from one table to the next or for that matter from one casino to the next. You shouldn’t just jump into a game without first knowing what the rules are and whether there are better rules on other tables. For example, a table where the dealer hits soft 17 is worst for a player than if the dealer stands on soft 17. Blackjack players should know which rules are player-friendly and which favor the house, and then scout the tables to find the best set of player-friendly rules.

 

The crime: Playing when tired or inebriated

How many times have you seen the bleary-eyed player playing blackjack? Or the player that has consumed one to many alcoholic drinks. If you are tired, you shouldn’t be playing blackjack because you will be making too many playing mistakes. Ditto for consuming many alcoholic drinks while playing. Playing blackjack skillfully requires concentration and anything that disturbs your concentration will result in you losing more money (that’s why drinks are free to players).

 

The crime: Not paying attention to the cards on the layout

Not too many recreational players pay attention to the cards on the layout. That’s a big mistake. For example, if you have seen a disproportionate number of small cards vs. large cards in the first couple of rounds after a shuffle, now would be a good time to bump up your bet slightly. On the other hand, if you see nothing but aces and faces in the early rounds, you should definitely not increase the size of your bet.

 

The crime: Not getting rated

You should always get rated when you play blackjack. The reason? This allows you to receive comps from the casino (free meals, free rooms, free shows, etc.). It cost you nothing to get rated. Just sign up for their player’s card and show it to the dealer every time you play. Your level of comps depends upon your level of play. You can always check with a casino host to find out what kind of comps you will be eligible to receive based on your betting level and the amount of time you play. The comps you receive will lower your cost of playing and sometimes they will turn a negative expectation game (where the house has the overall edge) into a positive expectation game (the game with the comps will result in the player having the monetary edge). The point is that you won’t get any comps unless you get rated, so don’t miss this opportunity to get your share of the billions that casinos give away annually to players just for playing.

4 Tips on Choosing the Best Online Gambling Site

If games with superheroes and manic fruit aren’t your thing, you can always stick to tried and tested favorites like blackjack and roulette. If your tastes are more wide ranging, you can spend time spinning reels populated with Egyptian princesses, or trying to hit a feature bonus with a slightly deranged squirrel. Some of the most famous slots in Atlantic City might be more to your liking; that’s online now, too.

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Why Sports Betting is Profitable

Sports betting appeals to the smart bettor because it is not a game with a fixed house edge where the casinos are raking off fixed percentage. Sports betting requires more skill than luck similar to live poker. You won’t win every time but the skilled handicapper has a huge advantage over the recreational bettor. Before going into more detail you need to understand how sports betting works. We will take a look at football where a point spread is involved. (Basketball also uses a point spread.)

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The casino Sports books make their money on sports bets by collecting a commission on losing bets. This is called the Vigorish or Vig for short. The most common odds are 11 to 10. This means that if you want to win $100 you are risking $110. For example you place a bet on the Giants at the casino sports book and pay $110. If the Giants win you collect $210 when you cash your winning ticket. If you lose your bet you lose the $110.

Ideally the Sports book would like to have the same amount of money wagered on the two teams playing. If the Giants are playing the Colts and they have one player betting on the Giants and one player betting on the Colts they would pay the winner $100 but collect $110 for the loser. This gives them a $10 profit so they really don’t care who wins as long as they have an equal amount bet on each team. To accomplish this they assign a line or spread to make the contest equally attractive for both sides.

The Point Spread

Many people believe that the point spread is the predicted margin of victory by which one team will beat another team. This is not true. The line is the handicapper’s prediction of what number will be required to split the wagering evenly on both teams. For this reason the line may change from the opening line to the line at game time. The Sports books goal is to have the betting as evenly as possible.

If the public is swayed by sentiment to bet on a certain team then the odds makers need to adjust the line to get some action on the other team. Otherwise the betting would be heavily lopsided. The general betting public reacts from the opinions of others. This is why you see so many people “Jumping on the band wagon” of a winning team.

For the sports books the line is flawed if it does not attract the same amount of action on both sides however from a smart handicapper’s point of view, the line is flawed when it does not compute to his predicted outcome of the game. A weaker team can actually become the favorite if public sentiment is with that team. When this happens the underdog presents a huge overlay for the seasoned handicapper meaning that the odds are in his favor. For example: Team A should be a 3 point underdog to Team B however The public loves Team A and are betting on them and the line moves to make Team A a one point favorite, then Team B becomes an excellent bet. This is the contrarian principle and why many smart handicappers go against the general betting public.

The Handicapper

A winning handicapper formulates his own opinions about the game and ignores most of the public sentiment. A handicapper takes information for numerous sources, assigns weights and values to it. They will make their own power ranking and predict what the point spread should be without looking at the official line first, and then compare their predictions to the line to look at discrepancies. The large amount of data available via the internet and other sources means that the handicapper has more information but it means there is more to sift through to find the gems. The use of computer programs can help when searching through the data.

Why don’t more people win at sports betting? Like any other endeavor it takes time, patience and practice to become successful. A person of average intelligence can become a winning handicapper if they have the desire. Based on the odds of -110 for a straight football or basketball bet a handicapper only need to be right 52.38 percent of the time to break even however many sports bettors cannot achieve that percentage of winning over the long run. The chart below shows the break even points for the various odds you will encounter when you make a bet on the money line. With higher odds you have to have a higher winning percentage to break even. If you bet the underdogs you can have a lower win percentage and still make money.

Winning Percentages

Favorite Winning % Underdog Winning %
-110 52.38 +110 47.62
-115 53.49 +115 46.51
-120 54.55 +120 45.45
-125 55.56 +125 44.44
-130 56.52 +130 43.48
-135 57.45 +135 42.55
-140 58.33 +140 41.67
-145 59.18 +145 40.82
-150 60.00 +150 40.00
-155 60.78 +155 39.22
-160 61.54 +160 38.46
-165 62.26 +165 37.74
-170 62.96 +170 37.04
-175 63.64 +175 36.36
-180 64.29 +180 35.71
-185 64.91 +185 35.09
-190 65.52 +190 34.48
-200 66.67 +200 32.26
-220 68.75 +220 31.25
-240 70.59 +240 29.41
-250 71.43 +250 28.57

Gambling vs Health – Survey of which players are healthier

A survey which was done by Jackpot.co.uk targeting on over 2,000 gamblers on their health on gambling life compare with the rest of the population. The survey found out that British casino game players as a group are no less healthy than the rest of the population, with an average Body Mass Index (BMI) of 27; the same as the U.K. national average.

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